“Star Wars” good news only lasts so long. The most infamous ankle break in the history of below the waist bone breaks—since Joe Namath of course— is causing so much pain for so many. In case you’ve been living under an embargo of no ligament-related news, you’ve probably heard by now that Harrison Ford sustained an injury on the set of J.J. Abrams‘ “Star Wars: Episode VII” (“We have proudly worked
15 6 days with no accidents,” the production work sign said sheepishly). The actor broke his ankle when a door from the life-sized Millennium Falcon came crashing down on Han Solo. Original reports had him laid out for eight weeks, with production going on without him.
But a relatively new report from the Daily Mail confirms that Ford actually broke his leg, has undergone surgery and could be out for six months. Ruh roh? Regardless of how long Ford is on the disabled list, Abrams, producer Kathleen Kennedy and co. will of course soldier on, shooting everything they can in the meantime and then simply wait until Ford is well enough to work again. And even if his leg is broken as the report suggests, they can still shoot all kinds of scenes with him, just likely no running or action scenes. Hollywood does this all the time and obviously even manages to shoot around women who are 8 months pregnant. There’s also this thing called stunt doubles who I hear work Hollywood movie magic.
Still, this news coupled with a new rumor that says production could be further delayed, has led the Internet to wonder aloud if ‘Episode VII’ could be pushed back until summer 2016. The move would be what Abrams wanted, at least initially: the director originally asked for a 2016 date so he and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan would have more time to work on the script, but Disney denied them, likely because they told their shareholders that the $4.4 billion dollar acquisition of Lucasfilm would be profitable by 2015. Hence, having to push the film until the end of the year in December instead of the May dates ‘Star Wars’ films usually occupy.. But that’s already past the end of the 2015 fiscal year, so they’re already pushing it.
So you can be assured that multi-tiered business and merchandizing plans for fourth quarter 2015 are already being drawn up if not locked and loaded. Or as our pal Russ Fisher aptly put it: “How many holiday 2015 licensing plans would be screwed by STAR WARS pushing to 2016? Figure Disney will do anything possible to stay in ’15.” And that is absolutely correct.
In short, it remains doubtful that ‘Episode VII’ won’t come out as scheduled. It would take a disaster much bigger than a broken limb to prevent this Titanic landing in port as scheduled. There’s just too much banking on it. But how much do you think the set props master wanted to die after Ford was hurt? We wonder if the guy still has a job. One also has to wonder about the morale of a crew just about to begin one of the biggest film endeavors ever and then lose one of their starring veterans. Of course, Harrison Ford always wanted Han Solo to die in ‘Return Of The Jedi,’ so maybe this is a strong omen that he’ll get his wish. Killing off a major character like that would certainly signal to audiences and skeptics that this new ‘Star Wars’ means business and is putting real stakes and real drama ahead of action figure concerns. We can only have…a new hope.